Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Caribbean Cocktail

Caribbean Champagne: Light Rum, Banana Liqueur, Angostura or Orange Bitters, Chilled Champagne, Banana Slice

Light Rum, Banana Liqueur, Orange Bitters, Chilled Champagne, Banana Slice

It's true - the Caribbean Champagne sounds like it might not be the best idea in the world, and when you describe this cocktail to people you may get a skeptical response. Very skeptical, if you are our friend Pheidippides. We found her running on the beach at Kiawah this weekend, and when the conversation turned to cocktails remembered that she had joined us for a previous champagne concoction, the Bombay Punch.

Very skeptical, indeed.

But go ahead, embrace the bizarre. When it came time to make this drink, I poured the champagne after getting a Thai Chicken Pizza (well, with tofu, not chicken - embrace the bizarre!) into the oven, while DP flipped through the vinyl and put on UB40 before styling the champagne that I'd poured. The result? We took a sip and agreed: not banana-y enough!

The Guide really let me down on this one. I always rely on it for the most generous pours possible, but its Caribbean Champagne only requires 1/2 teaspoon each of Light Rum and Banana Liqueur. Half a teaspoon! Most recipes out there call for at least three times as much. It has to be a typo, and we doubled up on the alcohol after our initial taste. The revised recipe:
1 tsp (or 1 tbsp if you like) Light Rum
1 tsp (or 1 tbsp if you like) Banana Liqueur
1 dash Orange Bitters (or Angostura, if you don't feel like searching endlessly for the Orange)
4 oz chilled Champagne (or whatever it takes to fill your glass)
Slice of banana


Pour the rum and the banana liqueur and the bitters into a chilled champagne glass. Top off with champagne and stir. Carefully! You'll get bubbles over everything if you don't watch out. Style attractively with a banana slice.
Once you've finished your glass full of Caribbean Champagne, you can go ahead and finish the bottle of champagne any way you please. DP pulled out the Cassis and we went for a Kir Royale (we're not in the 'K's yet, so we just winged it without a recipe...) Not bad!

One possible Caribbean Cocktail side effect? A lingering tropical feeling that will lead you to wander down to White Point Gardens at lunchtime. Sure, it's hot today, but I swear the breeze off the harbor felt cool under the shade of the live oaks. And there's an added bonus to trekking around Charleston at mid-day... seeing what the tourists are up to.

I think today's chutzpah prize has to go to the two who were pushing their bicycles into St. Michael's. Charlestonians may be polite, but there is a line in the sand, and you cross it when you try to use George Washington's pew as a bike rack.

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